This really had better be Aaron Blair's last start for South Bend. Blair went 7 shutout innings last night allowing 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 12. There's really nothing else for Blair to prove pitching in A ball at the age of 22 when he was a first round pick. The same goes for Braden Shipley. As a source of comparison the St. Louis Cardinals also drafted a college pitcher in the 1st round, after Shipley and before Blair, and they have him in the major leagues. I really don't understand some of the decisions going on with respect to the placement and development of our young players. There are guys all over the system who are playing at levels below their talent and age. How does this help ready our prospects for the major leagues? This is my list of players who need to be promoted a level up immediately. Aaron Blair, Braden Shipley, Justin Williams, Adam Miller, J.R. Bradley, Brandon Drury, Henry Garcia, Andrew Barbosa, Jimmie Sherfy, Chase Anderson, Matt Stites, and Jake Barrett. My rant could go on much longer but I'll leave at this for now.
3 Stars: Aaron Blair, South Bend 7 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 12 K, 0 ER
2 Stars: Michael Lee, Mobile 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 ER, W (3-2)
1 Star: Mike Freeman, Mobile 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 TPL, 1 HR (4), 3 RBI
0 Stars: Hector Hernandez, Visalia 7 IP, 13 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 ER, L (2-3)
Triple A: Reno 7 Salt Lake 6. Bo Schultz was solid again going 6.1 innings allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and no walks while striking out 3. He had a shutout going through 6 innings but ran into trouble in the 7th The defense was shaky in that inning as Nick Ahmed and Didi Gregorius both had errors that led to 3 unearned runs. Evan Marshall was finally called on and put out the fire in addition to pitching a clean 8th. Jess Todd blew the save allowing a run in the top of the 9th, but Alfredo Marte singled home Ender Inciarte in the bottom of the 9th for the walk-off win. Marte went 2 for 2 with 3 walks, a double and an RBI. Andy Marte delievered a 2-run homer and Inciarte had 2 hits with a double and 2 RBI.
Double A: Mobile 8 Jackson 1. Michael Lee had one of his better outing going 7 strong innings allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk. The offense scored all 8 runs in the first 4 innings led by Jake Lamb's 2-run double. For the second day in a row Mike Freeman hit a a triple and a home run, his 4th of the year and a career season high. Jon Griffin had a pair of singles and a walk.
High A: Visalia 7 Modesto 8. Hector Hernandez got hit around a bit allowing 7 earned runs but he did go 7 innings. The offense battled to the bitter end but came up a run short. Rudy Flores and Raul Navarro each hit 2-run homers and Alex Glenn added a solo shot.
A: South Bend 0 Lake County 2. Aaron Blair was unhittable going 7 strong shutout innings allowing just 1 hit while striking out 12. But the offense let him down and didn't score a run which ultimately led to extra innings. Daniel Gibson pitched a shutout 8th and Silvino Bracho did the same in the 9th. Jose Jose got through the 10th and 11th innings but ran out of gas in the 12th allowing a single and a double, and Kyle Schepel couldn't put out the fire before 2 runs had scored. Four hits was all the offense could muster.